This time of year is generally a time to reflect on the past and plan for the future while gaining some perspective on parts of our lives we would like to change. This year we challenge drivers everywhere to put an emphasis on increased safety on the roadways. Here are some ways that you can help increase roadway safety in 2017, along with links to articles that explore each topic in a little more detail.

New Year’s Resolutions for Truckers

As truck drivers, we are held to a higher level of accountability for our actions. We are, after all, professional drivers who have not only undergone specific training – but who travel the highways much more than the average person. Our profession dictates that we must make safety on the roadways a priority, and while many of us do this, there is always room for improvements.

Proper Pre-Trip – The key is the little things. If we are out of compliance in any way, it counts against our safety record. Even warnings negatively affect our safety score. It’s important to ensure we are 100% on paperwork and equipment. Pre-Trip Inspections

Proper Post Trip – Regularly inspecting your equipment will save you a lot of time and trouble over the road. Finding problems while parked with services nearby is safer, cheaper, and easier than being rescued from the side of the road, especially after regular business hours, when your wait time will be longer and after hour charges apply. Post Trip Inspections – Trucking 101 

Cry Sheet – Maintenance relies on drivers filling out their cry sheets to schedule in needed maintenance and repairs. It’s the easiest way to take care of equipment maintenance issues. By filling out your cry sheet you help ensure that the equipment we use leaves the yard in top shape which is an important part of roadway safety. For Crying Out Loud: Fill out your cry sheet

Log Book – Most log book violations are caused by not paying attention to details. No matter how busy your day is you’re expected to keep your log book in good order. Keep Your Log Book Violation Free 

Zero Violations – As professional truck drivers we are expected to be safe and compliant at all times. Violations, even seemingly small ones, are counted against a company’s safety rating. It is important to know that while drivers may sometimes get off with a warning, points are still deducted from the company’s safety rating and the violation is still documented on your driver record. You may think that this isn’t a big deal because you, the driver, aren’t responsible for paying any fines for your actions when in reality it is a big deal and it involves more than you. Safety & Compliance: How the Actions of One Affect the Entire Team 

New Year’s Resolutions for all Motorists

We need to share the roadways safely. In order to do this, public education and awareness is an important part of the mix. If you drive, you need to be responsible for what you are doing on the roadways.

Working Together to Keep Our Roadways Safe – Public education is key in reducing the amount of passenger/commercial vehicle accidents on our shared roadways. There have been great strides made in recent years on educating the public about tractor trailers on the roadways. Check out this article Working Together to Keep Our Roadways Safe to learn more about driving safety.

Drive Safely Around Semis – Professional truck drivers take a lot of care when they’re on the roads to help keep other motorists safe. A large part of the problem that many truck drivers face each day is a lack of education of motorists on the road. One very dangerous condition that four wheelers put themselves in all the time is driving in a truck’s blind spots. Please Avoid Our Blind Spots

Take a Stance Against Drowsy Driving – Lack of sleep negatively impacts everyone’s performance. It slows our reaction times, impairs our judgment and reduces our situational awareness. In fact, driving drowsy has the same impact on our bodies as driving under the influence. Many of us would never take to the roads after drinking. Why, well because of the education we have received about the effects of driving while impaired. The Wake Up Call: a report on drowsy driving 

Don’t Take Roadway Safety for Granted – the three biggest causes of roadway fatalities are very avoidable and completely controllable. Fatalities, where alcohol, speeding, and distracted driving were deemed the cause of the accident, made up 86.6% of the 2015 stats. Nearly 33,000 lives were lost on U.S. roadways in 2015 alone because of these three poor driving choices. Increasing Roadway Safety: What’s it Going to Take?

The underlining theme is that we must all work together to help ensure the safety of our roadways. Professional truckers and motorists alike must take responsibility for their actions and make a conscious effort to make safety a priority.